The 10 most influential French people in the world in 2021

December rhymes with the end of the year and therefore with a balance sheet. The end of the year 2021 is no exception to the rule and many magazines offer their retrospective ranking of the year. Vanity Fair proposes to focus on the 50 French personalities whose ideas and actions have particularly weighed abroad.

Camille Cottin, Stéphane Bancel, Jul, or even Karim Benzema made the front pages of many magazines this year in France. However, far from being the only national phenomena, these personalities also shone abroad this year in fields as varied as tech, sport, cinema, health or digital. Something to dream of in 2022.

Florian Zeller, on the set of C à vous on France 5.

1. Florian Zeller

2021 will have been the year of the international coronation of the French playwright Florian Zeller, according to Vanity Fair. The 43-year-old already has a solid track record with several award-winning novels since its first release in 2002, plays performed around the globe and a critically acclaimed debut film in 2020. The Father is considered “one of the greatest film experiences of the decade” by The Times and received the Oscar for Best Screenplay. Florian Zeller is the most performed living French author in the world, which can only corroborate The Guardian’s intuition that he is “the most exciting playwright of our time”.

Stéphane Bancel Influential French

2. Stéphane Bancel

After the epidemic year we have just passed through, it is no wonder that the second figure in this ranking is the CEO of one of the most powerful pharmaceutical groups in the world, Moderna. The 49-year-old Marseillais began working on messenger RNA in 2011 in Massachusetts, research that allowed him to quickly develop a vaccine against Covid-19. Stéphane Bancel is currently at the head of a company whose value is estimated at 110 billion euros.

Laurence of the influential French Cars
Laurence des Cars, on the France Inter plateau after his appointment at the head of the Louvre.

3. Laurence des Cars

The French curator was appointed this year to head the largest museum in the world: the Louvre. Previously in charge of the Louvre project in Abu Dhabi, then at the head of the Musée de l’Orangerie and the Musée d’Orsay, Laurence des Cars was elected by the President of the Republic to take up this new challenge. The Louvre museum employs 2,000 people and welcomes 10 million visitors each year (before successive confinements). Laurence des Cars intends to make it an “echo chamber” for current society and wishes to bring more young people to the museum with the “Louvre 2030” plan that she presented for the presidency of the museum.

Omar Sy Influential French

4. Omar Sy

The actor who is already unanimous in France and is in the top 3 of the favorite personalities of the French since 2012, has also conquered the world. Carried in triumph in the United States with the success of the Lupine series (one of the most viewed on Netflix) in which he plays the leading role, Omar Sy is the only French personality in the Times’ top 100 most influential people in the world.

Karim Benzema French influential on the football field

5. Karim Benzema

2021 marked the return of the Marseillais to the French football team, an event eagerly awaited by his most fervent supporters. He was thus able to conclude in style his reinstatement among the Blues by offering the goal of victory in the final of the League of Nations against Spain. A feat noticed by the press around the world who qualified his left-footed shot as a “masterpiece”.

Julia Ducournau Influential French Caesars
Julia Ducournau, during the presentation of the Palme d’Or for Titanium at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

6. Julia Ducournau

The filmmaker struck the world of cinema with her frightening “Titanium” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. This is the second only for a director after Jane Campion and The Piano Lesson in 1993. Responsible for representing France at the Oscars, Titane was ultimately not selected by the American jury. If the disturbing and explosive art of Julia Ducournau leaves mixed opinions, it does not leave indifferent.

Vincent Bolloré Influential French

7. Vincent Bolloré

The businessman is at the origin of several remarkable maneuvers in the field of the media. After buying the Prisma Media group in May 2019, he placed relatives at the head of JDD and Paris Match in the last quarter of 2021. The Breton billionaire also separated from Universal Music for 20 billion euros. Vincent Bolloré has had a lot to do on another scene for a few months: he has been at the forefront of the presidential election, since he propelled his colt from CNews, the polemicist Eric Zemmour, in the race for the presidency.

Audrey_Diwan_Influential French

8. Audrey Diwan

Former journalist, Audrey Diwan co-wrote the screenplay for La French and HHhH with Cédric Jimenez. Converted into the cinema, this year she directed the film The event adapted from Annie Ernaux’s book. A great international success marked by the Golden Lion of the Venice Mostra, thus succeeding Nomadland by Chloé Zhao.

Nicolas Julia Influential French

9. Nicolas Julia

Sorare was practically unknown a year ago, but his name is now inescapable in the landscape of start-ups in France. Its CEO and co-founder Nicolas Julia raised 580 million euros in funds in the fall of 2021, making the biggest ever made by French Tech. By converting footballer’s thumbnails into a virtual collection, Nicolas Julia is riding the wave of NFTs, these non-fungible tokens whose authenticity is proven by their place on the blockchain.

Influential French Cédric Charbit

10. Cédric Charbit

CEO of Balenciaga for 5 years, Cédric Charbit has relaunched the machine of the luxury company by focusing on e-commerce and the opening of new stores all over the world. Good management which enabled the brand’s turnover to resist the pandemic. Balenciaga’s New Simpsons-themed show at Fashion Week garnered nearly 9 million views on YouTube in 2 weeks.

Top 50 most influential French people in the world in 2021

11. Claire Stool

12. Lea Seydoux

13. SCH

14. Pierre-Antoine Capton

15. Clarisse Agbégnénou

16. Olivier Rousteing
17. Camille Cottin
18. Evan Fournier
19. Arnaud Donckele
20. David Diop
21. Christian Louboutin
22. Philipp Corrot & Adrien Nussembaum
23. Emma Lavigne
24. Chantal Pichon
25. Mory Sacko
26. Alexandre Arnault
27. Isabelle Chouvet
28. Cleopatra Darleux
29. Valérie Masson-Delmotte
30. Antoine Dupont
31. JUL
32. Dominique Crenn
33. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
34. Guillaume Lacroix
35. Alice Doyard
36. Marie-Amélie Le Fur
37. Françoise Rimareix
38. Amaury Guichon
39. Aya Nakamura
40. Anne Baldassari
41. Mehdi Kerkouche
42. Alexander Kantorow
43. Mélanie de Jesus Do Santos
44. Ariane Geffard
45. Manon Garcia
46. ​​Claire Mathon
47. Émilie Daudin
48. Sami Outalbali
49. Gaëlle d’Engremont
50. Yas Banifatemi

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The 10 most influential French people in the world in 2021